Drying Photos

From FEMA: Drying photographs

by Joplin: Operation Photo Rescue on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 9:12am

Handle all wet photos carefully as the surfaces may be fragile. Wet photos may be washed and rinsed in clean water (if necessary), but be careful not to touch the surfaces. Handle only the edges. Dry them face up in a single layer on a clean surface, such as a table, window screen or clean plastic. Avoid drying the photos in direct sunlight as exposure may lead to splitting, warping or fading of the photos. Photographs may curl during drying, but they can be flattened later.

Freezing photos: If a freezer is available, freeze the photos immediately after rinsing them. Seal several photos at a time in plastic bags with a tie or a Zip-Lock type plastic bag. If possible, place wax paper between each individual photo to prevent sticking. Later, photos may be separated and air-dried.

Drying photos: The key to drying photos is air circulation. Electric fans, when used safely, can significantly aid in the drying and preservation of your important memories.